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Rheumatology

Joint pain assessed and treated without delay

A broad range of musculoskeletal conditions are covered by consultant rheumatologists, focusing primarily on issues relating to your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and joints.

At Ridgeway, our specialists commonly see symptoms and issues such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Unexplained muscle pain or stiffness
  • Extreme fatigue and fever
  • Certain types of rashes

Many patients will have already seen their GP and been referred to us, but we also have an increasing number of self-referrals, enabling you to see a specialist at your earliest convenience if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Symptoms may indicate a number of conditions treated by our rheumatologists, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis (weakened, fragile bones)
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Gout
  • Inflammatory spinal conditions
  • Soft tissue problems, e.g. tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis (inflammation, causing pain in your heel)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Fibromyalgia (widespread pain and fatigue)

Whether you have an existing condition that requires new management, or you’re experiencing troubling symptoms for the first time, our rheumatologists can find an appropriate treatment plan to bring you rapid relief.

If you’re based in Swindon, Wiltshire, or even further afield, why not book a consultation with us today?

Our specialists at BMI Ridgeway will focus on providing bespoke treatment to help manage your specific symptoms. This could mean reducing your symptoms to enable you to return to your normal activities and fitness level, or treatment to help deal with a flare-up.

Steroid joint injections can be very effective in managing your symptoms and relieving pain and stiffness. Usually, it will be clear at the first appointment if you would benefit from a joint injection, so this is often able to be offered at the same time. Some patients may benefit from an ultrasound-guided injection from a radiologist, as this can precisely target the source of your pain, and this can be booked in at a later date.

We have strong links with our Physiotherapy department, and this can be particularly effective in combination with steroid injections, helping to improve your range of motion once the injections have helped stabilise your pain levels. For any ongoing treatment, your progress will be reviewed at regular intervals, ensuring you always receive the most appropriate, evidence-based treatment.

Chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis will likely require ongoing medication, and this can be picked up from our dedicated pharmacy, saving you further trips elsewhere.

Surgery is unusual for patients with typical rheumatic conditions, but if you’ve been dealing a chronic illness for many years, there are some instances where surgery may be of benefit. For example, our Orthopaedic specialists may suggest an artificial joint replacement for those who have had severe arthritis for over 10 years.

At your initial consultation, a detailed medical history will be taken, including a history of the particular joint issues you’ve been experiencing. It will also cover family history, details of your usual exercise regime, and lifestyle factors such as your general health and whether or not you smoke.

Questions your consultant may ask you include:

  • What are the specific symptoms you’ve had?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Have you had similar issues in the past, or is this the first time?
  • Have you received any other treatment yet? How effective has it been?
  • Are you taking any medication at present?

A full physical examination will then be conducted. Conditions like arthritis can often affect the whole body, so your consultant will normally check your heart, lungs, and abdomen, alongside your joints.

Some patients won’t need further investigations, as a diagnosis may be clear at this point, especially if they have degenerative joint disease.

Blood tests looking for inflammatory markers (which indicate inflammation and potential autoimmune conditions) may be carried out to rule out any other issues, and these can be carried out within our clinics.

Other patients may require diagnostic scans, which can be booked for a later date in our on-site Imaging department. Scans may include:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • CT
  • MRI
  • DEXA (bone density) scan

Very occasionally, other specialist tests may be needed. This could include lung function tests and scans of the lungs. Nerve conduction studies or Electromyogram (EMG) can also be used if appropriate to assess activity of your nerves and muscles.

You will then meet your consultant for a follow-up appointment to discuss any test results as well as your personalised treatment plan. You are often given a number of options, and your consultant can advise which options may be best suited to your goals, explaining any expected outcomes.

Choosing to have your Rheumatology care at BMI Ridgeway comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Assessments ASAP – Certain rheumatic conditions are best diagnosed at the earliest possible stage, especially when they involve the health of your joints. If you’ve been experiencing any of the associated symptoms, our consultants can see you for an assessment without delay, getting you an accurate diagnosis rapidly (with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment) and the necessary treatment before your symptoms progress any further.
  • Patient Satisfaction – 96.4% of patients in 2020 said they would happily recommend Ridgeway Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 96.3% also said that the quality of care here at Ridgeway Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.
  • Personalised Care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey.
  • Holistic Approach – Private appointments with consultant rheumatologists at BMI Ridgeway offer you valuable time to get your concerns properly assessed. With typical consultations lasting 30-40 minutes, you can feel heard, giving your consultant adequate time to give a comprehensive, holistic review of your health.
  • Consultant-led, Consultant-delivered – Once you have chosen your consultant rheumatologist, you will see them right the way through your journey at BMI Ridgeway. From the initial consultation to follow-ups, explaining any necessary procedures and carrying out the procedures themselves, you are assured the highest level of care and top-quality service from experienced specialists in the field.
  • A Multidisciplinary Approach – Our teams at Ridgeway work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with colleagues in Orthopaedics, alongside specialist physiotherapists, radiographers, anaesthetists, and nurses, your consultant rheumatologists have access to a wide network for complex issues, ensuring you have expert support every step of the way during your treatment.
  • Convenient Appointments – With appointments available at dedicated clinics throughout the week, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.
  • Ease of Access - Situated a short taxi ride from Swindon bus station, Ridgeway Hospital is easily accessible by public transport, with ample parking should you visit us by car.

For peace of mind and expert care, book an appointment online now.

Specialists offering Rheumatology

Dr David Anthony Collins

Consultant Rheumatologist

MD, FRCP

BMI The Ridgeway Hospital

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Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and six months of aftercare.

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